Saturday, April 29, 2017

Teenage Fighters

I don't normally put up works in progress here, but I do enjoy seeing them on other people's blogs and Facebook sites so here's such a post. Normally, I guess I just like how paint hides all the green bits. During the past two nights I converted Rolf's PLO14 (2 KIDS/YOUNG LIONS WITH RPK'S - BAREHEADED) to what I think of as EERKIDS (2 KIDS/TEENS MIX OF HEADGEAR & WEAPONS). It takes me a while to sculpt anything, but it sure is fun. I'm pleased with how these came out. They are my first try at a weapons swap too. Leaving the cast rifle butts in place and just swapping out the front end of the weapons worked rather well, although getting them just the right angle took a while and until I sculpted the hands they were really fragile. I also swapped the heads for two that fit my genre more, sculpted new left hands, sleeves, a jacket extension and a rifle butt. I'm a bit tempted to try to make a similar figure with an RPG7, but I don't want to over do it. ;)

RH Models PLO14 with head/weapon swap; PLO14

RH Models PLO14 with head/weapon swap; PLO14

Friday, April 28, 2017

Special Forces

Recently I found some great non-professionally taken pictures of special forces during the Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis that took place in January, 1996 during the First Chechen War. These half dozen or so images inspired this next unit. I'm not sure exactly which special force they represent, SOBR, Alfa Team, etc., as picture captions tend to be sloppy with the specifics, but they should be suitable for any winter season Russian special forces 1995-1996. To add variety and winter character to the figures I did a few head swaps, gave almost all large fur collars and replaced most of the cast back pockets with sculpted pockets of the three side by side type. Two of the figures' jackets were extended so as to give them winter coats. When painting them I chose a mix of camouflage patterns, VSR, winter SMK, winter tiger and dark spring tiger (that's what I call it anyway). I'm very pleased with how they turned out - not so much with some of the pictures I took, but these dark camouflage schemes are tough to take photos of.

Next up is a batch of civilians and fighters with all manner of caps I haven't painted much of, worker's caps, derbies, gangster hats and traditional Georgian felt hats. I'm also putting together two Chechen child fighters with my first weapon swaps to paint with this group as well. After that I'll get back to this Russian winter special forces squad and paint up some figures with RPG's, PKM's etc.

RH Models RUS20COME; RUS20H; RUS20BGH; RUS20* with head swap

RH Models RUS26H; RUS25H; RUS24H

RH Models RUS20COM* with head swap; RUS20BGE; RUS20H, RUS20COMH

RH Models RUS20H; RUS20* with head swap; RUS20H

Russian Alfa team in Grozny (February 6th, 1995).

Russian special forces unit (Grozny, January 3rd, 1996).

Kizlyar Airport immediately after fighting (Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis). Left is Junior Sgt. A. Matancev; Right is Sgt. A. Andreev. (January 9th, 1996)

Russian Sobr at Pervomayskoye (January 16th, 1996).

Senior Lt. M. Churkin during Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis (January, 1996).

Russian forces in Pervomayskoye (January, 1996).

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cossack Hats

Acouple of months ago I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Rolf of RH Models was putting out a range of figures sporting Cossack hats. His packs contain figures with two varieties of Cossack hats, a.k.a. papakhas, the more common cylindrical type and the less common pinched cylinder type. The first type is extremely common within Chechnya. Pictorial evidence shows that during the initial stage of the war it was worn by some Chechen fighters, but afterwards it was worn mostly by civilians. Presumably it was not very practical to fight with such headgear and a knit cap was chosen instead. I've only found one picture of a Chechen fighter wearing the second type of papakha. The pinched cylinder papakha can be seen in use by Cossack forces defending Russian speaking parts of Moldova in 1992 (Transnistrian War). Other limited uses of these hats during the Post-Soviet wars I've seen are in Georgia (usually a far more furry variety, thick fur would need to be sculpted onto Rolf's hats to represent this hat) and a slightly more stouter papakha worn during the Armenia-Azerbaijan war. In the future I might paint a handful more of these guys, but I don't want to over do it.

I also added to this batch two prone conversions.

Next up is a batch of Russian elite forces wearing Maska helmets and winter camouflage for use in the First Chechen War.

RH Models COSSSQU with green stuff jacket extensions, COSSQU

RH Models COSSSQU; URBRPG with head swap; RUS9* with head swap

RH Models URBAK with head swap; RUSAK* with head swap; RMRRPK* with head swap

RH Models URBCIV* with head swap

RH Models PLOPROSNI with head swaps and green stuff collars

Chechen men rally in center of Grozny (December 6th, 1994).

Chechen fighter riding horseback in Novy Ataguy (December 31st, 1994).

Chechen rebel with PKM in Grozny suburbs (January 17th, 1995).

Chechen fighter with young boy (Novoznamenskoye, February, 1996).

Cossacks fighter prepared to defend Transnistria (1992).

Cossack fighters relaxing during defense of Russian speaking Moldova (1992).

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Russians in Snowsuits

Russian Interior Ministry forces patrol Grozny (February, 1996).

I'm not sure why, but the above picture is one of my favorite pictures from the First Chechen War, but it is. I've decided to create a unit to represent the guys shown in pictures. First up is a bunch of Russians in snowsuits. The bulk of these use Rolf's new RUSAK74H pack with head swaps to represent the soldiers in this unit. I also used some other packs for figures with other weapons. The one kneeling guy with binoculars is meant to be a Chechen gunner. In the upcoming months I hope to paint additional figures for this unit, modern Russian figures with mostly O helmets, VSR camouflage jackets and pants, with black and other vests - as well as modern Russian figures with body armor and O helmets also in VSR camouflage (I'm hoping Rolf will sculpt some figures with modern Russian body armor, 6B3-5, or I might convert my own). Lastly, I'll need a trio of BTR-70's with this camouflage pattern. That's it for snowsuits for me ... I'm on to some Cossacks.

RH Models RUSAK74H with head swap

RH Models RUSAK74H with head swap

RH Models RUSAK74H with head swap

RH Models RUSRPK* with head swap; RUSRPG* with head swap; RUSSPOTV?

Motorized Russian infantry in Grozny (1999-2000).

Russian marines in Grozny (2nd Chechen War).

Russian soldier smoking cigarette in Grozny (February 6th, 2000).

Sunday, February 12, 2017

More Snow

Well they might be tough to photograph, but I do enjoy painting figures in snowsuits. The snow outside has certainly helped my motivation.

All of these figures are meant to be Chechen rebels from the First Chechen War. The bulk of this group of figures are done up in snow coverall suits; the peak usage of this camouflage seems to be January 1995 in Grozny. The seven figures on temporary bases will join a couple others and be used in the future to crew two 122mm D30 guns I need to build and paint. I think the snow crew will look great with a field piece that has some blankets draped over it like in the photo below. I think my green stuff sculpting skills are up to that now. :)

RH Models RUSAK* with head swap; RUSAKD; RUSAK* with head swap

RH Models RUSBG* with head swap; RUSAKH

RH Models RUSGUN* with head swap; RUSGUNH; RUSGUN* with head swap

RH Models MULT20GUN; RUSGGUN with head swaps

Chechens in a street fight. (Grozny, January 25th, 1995)

Rebel fighter in Grozny during First Chechen War.

Chechen fighters manning a disguised D30 in the Zavodskoi district of Grozny (January 24th, 1995).

Chechens with D30 (January 25th, 1995).

Chechen rebels with D30 artillery piece in Pervomayskaya (December 12th, 1994).

Thursday, January 26, 2017

OMON platoon

With the completion of nine more of RH Model's modern Russians I have my first complete Russian platoon (3 squads of seven, plus two commanding figures). I'm not really sure of the organization of OMON troops in Chechnya so this is just a guess. I continued the camouflage schemes of the last batch, mostly winter SMK with some early Kamush (tiger stripe) pants and vests. These figures have some head swaps and green stuff hoods and back vest pockets. While carving off the original pockets and sculpting these additions I prepped two more batches of figures and so at this point my next batch is well on its way. :)

RH Models RUS23E; RUS20E; RUS25O
RH Models RUS20* with head swap; RUS20COME
RH Models RUS20COME; RUS20* with head swap; RUS20BG* with head swap

Friday, December 23, 2016


It has been a long time, but I'm finally back!

I was planning on taking a break from Post-Soviet miniature painting by focusing on some WWII miniatures, but that didn't go as planned. I waited a while for some Kelly's Heroes miniatures, got them, but then didn't like them (great character, but inconsistent sculpting and the weapons are far too small). After that I decided to go with AB Figures, I waited some more for those to arrive (pretty quick from Australia, however), but after I got those I didn't like them that much either (not enough character - a bit on the small side). I suppose I'm just picky and no one really makes the Eastern Front miniatures I really want to paint. I was also waylaid for two weeks because of bleach burns on my hands (tried to clean the outside of our house with bleach that wasn't diluted enough ... all healed now) and a work trip.

After finding some inspiration on the new RH Models forum I decided to go back to the Chechen Wars and start my Russian forces in earnest. I chose to first do my impression of some OMON troops I always liked the look of. To assemble these guys I chopped the back pockets off a batch of modern Russians and the heads and collars off some of these. I sculpted three back pockets on some and two long back pockets on others. Almost all got hoods sculpted on them. For variety I head swapped half of them. I painted them with a variety of camouflage schemes with the winter SMK (blue/gray) pattern being the main theme. The SMK pattern was used quite extensively during the First Chechen War (different variations can be seen) and to a lesser extent during the Second Chechen War (with even more variations, some even with brown not gray splotches).

It took a few weeks to modify and paint these guys, but in the end I'm very pleased with them. I have another nine to do in similar manner. I just have to get in the sculpting mood.

RH Models RUS20E; RUS20* with head swap; RUS26* with head swap

RH Models RUS20E; RUS20* with head swap; RUS25O; RUS20E

RH Models RUS20COME; RUS23E; RUS20E; RUS20* with head swap

RH Models RUS23* with head swap; RUS21* with head swap; RUS20BGE

January, 1995: Russian Interior Ministry troops near Grozny.

January 4th, 1995: OMON on patrol in Grozny.

January 4th, 1995: OMON on patrol in Grozny.

February 11th, 1995: Russians on APC in Grozny.

Russian OMON patrols village (April, 1996).

Russians working demonstration outside Samashki, April 15th, 1995.

Russians preparing at Pervomayskaya (January 12th, 1996).